Governor Granholm Says Education Key to Economic Success in Michigan

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

April 24, 2009

Radio address highlights upcoming Education Summit

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that more than 600 community leaders from across Michigan will gather at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing next Tuesday afternoon for the Governor's Education Summit to discuss ways to double the number of college graduates by making higher education more accessible and affordable, part of the governor's plan to create jobs and grow the economy.

"In today's incredibly challenging and rapidly changing economy, one thing is certain: education is the key to economic success for Michigan's citizens and for Michigan as a state," Granholm said.  "That's the reason behind our goal of doubling the number of college graduates in Michigan."

Earlier this year, the governor signed legislation establishing Promise Zones, which will greatly expand the opportunity for students to attend college.  In addition, every student in Michigan is also eligible for a $4,000 Michigan Promise scholarship. 

"We want to make Michigan the best-educated state in the nation," Granholm said.  We want to make Michigan's workforce so outstanding that our state is the only possible destination for high-tech companies in emerging fields - the kind of companies that provide good-paying jobs and diversify our economy."

The Education Summit will focus on engaging local leaders in coordinated efforts to tap every asset in communities to help turn more citizens into college graduates.

"Working together, coalitions of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, businesses, local government, labor groups, philanthropic organizations, and faith-based groups can inform and inspire many more students than any entity working alone," Granholm said.

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday morning and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available on the governor's Web site at ( www.michigan.gov/gov ) for download, together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address is also available as a podcast on the Web site, as well as on iTunes and vi2a RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow.

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address: Education Summit to Focus on College Access

Full:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov194Full_276089_7.mp3
Edited:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov194Edit_276084_7.mp3
Quote:  http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov194Quote_276094_7.mp3

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm. 

In today's incredibly challenging and rapidly changing economy, one thing is certain: education is the key to economic success for Michigan's citizens and for Michigan as a state.  That's the reason behind our goal of doubling the number of college graduates in Michigan.

Next week, more than 600 leaders from communities across Michigan will come together at the Governor's Education Summit in Lansing.  We are going to discuss ways to reach that goal of doubling the number of college graduates by making higher education more accessible and more affordable. We want to make Michigan the best-educated state in the nation.  We want to make Michigan's workforce so outstanding that our state is the only possible destination for high-tech companies in emerging fields - the kind of companies that provide good-paying jobs and diversify our economy.

To do that, I'm working hard to hold down tuition costs, and I'm proud to have signed legislation that establishes Promise Zones; those will make it possible for some communities to provide free tuition to all their students.  Every student in Michigan is also eligible for a $4,000 Promise scholarship, and President Obama has provided a boost by increasing the maximum Pell grant by $500 this year.  That means the maximum is now $5,600.

As the Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth pointed out, the most valuable resources that potential college students have are in their own communities.  This is especially true for students from low-income families or first-generation college students for whom cost is not the only obstacle.  They often need help also navigating the world of college testing, applications and financial aid.

To help turn more of these students and all our young people into college graduates, the Governor's Education Summit will focus on engaging local leaders in coordinated efforts to tap every asset in our communities - including ones we may not have thought of involving before.  Working together, coalitions of K-12 schools, higher education institutions, businesses, local government, labor groups, philanthropic organizations and faith-based groups can inform and inspire many more students than any entity working alone.

In Muskegon County, for example, a broad coalition called Muskegon Opportunity is helping young people find every single state and federal financial aid dollar they're entitled to.

Jackson's college-access network opened a center in a popular mall to make it easy for students and parents to get information.  Reaching students where they live, through people and places that are already part of their lives, is the best way to build a bridge from high school all the way through college graduation.

By replicating these successful community networks, we can support Michigan's young people and launch more of them on the road to success for themselves and our state.

Thank you for listening.

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